Chicken Hummus Recipe

As a Fitness Coach (especially during the holiday season) people often ask about my meal plan. Are you Paleo, Jet? Are you Gluten free? Are you cruelty free? I even had one person ask me if I was organic. She phrased it just like that, “are you organic?” To which I replied, “aren’t we all?” She didn’t seem to catch my drift. I dropped the subject. [Hint: We are all organic by definition. Or·gan·ic, adjective: 1. of, relating to, or derived from living matter (also known as parents). 2. PHYSIOLOGY of or relating to a bodily organ or organs (also known as the quivering bits inside that keep me operating).] At any rate, I’m often reluctant to share my meal plan with most people because this is what works for ME. While I don’t necessarily suggest it for others, I’m particularly fond of this recipe and it’s something that you can use for left over chicken or turkey. Here’s what you can do with your tasty meat. Here’s what you’ll need:

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Chicken Thighs (Cooked), 12oz.
Chick Peas, 6oz.
Tartar Sauce, 2oz.
Wasabi Mayonnaise, 2oz.
Goddess Dressing, 2oz.
Sriracha BBQ Sauce, 1oz.

The numbers on the dry erase board are weighed ounces. The chicken (or turkey) that you use should be dark meat. You’ll need it to be (and stay) tender. Breast meat is not ideal for this recipe! Chop up the tasty meat and put it in the kick ass blender of your choice. I use a Ninja. You may use a food processor. Don’t use some cheap Hamilton Beach p.o.s. and try to send me an angry email wondering why you’ve got chicken stuck under the blade. When you combine the ingredients (remember to weigh them on a scale, using a measuring cup isn’t the same and you shouldn’t “eyeball” it, be certain.) Once everything has been combined, it will look kinda gross like this:
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Blend the hell out of it until your tasty meat is as spreadable as jam. If you scroll back to the dry erase board in the first picture, the total came to 25 ounces. After blending and transferring, you’ll inevitably lose an ounce (on blades, nooks, and crannies). It should look kinda like meat hummus:

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Going forward, you should have 24 ounces which makes 6-4 ounce sandwiches. Add sea salt, Lawry’s, or fucking fairy dust to please your palette. Spread this on bread, chips, nipples, wheat thins, fingers, etc. Just enjoy it.

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Dear Beast Mode,

Dear Beast Mode,

Today I bench pressed 100 pounds! That’s more than half of my body weight. Yeah! Get some! I see your status updates, Bro! You’re so hard core. Beast Mode, you rock can we be friends? Can I follow you, tag you, cyber stalk you, and wear your sweaty t-shirts!? I love you, Beast Mode. You know that manly man crush sort of love. There’s just one thing, you’re not real. You don’t exist. Beast Mode, you’re a frame of mind. When people get into you they tend to transform into these grunting, shouting, hyper, well… beasts. Why do you make people do that? What’s your ulterior motive, Beast Mode? Why must people become aggressive when they get into you just to do something that requires skill. Take lifting weights and boxing for example, both of these are skills, yet when people get into you they tend to put you in the driver’s seat and skill becomes a silent passenger. What’s up with that, Bro!

When asked why he chose Gospel music to be played as his intro into the ring (as opposed to something with more aggressive lyrics like his opponent) Evander Holyfield responded with this, “I don’t understand why you have to get mad to do something that requires skill.” That’s real talk. Beast Mode, I can get mad and get into you to make that ONE rep max happen. But, it takes skill to reach a new SIX rep max. You might be unimpressed at my 100 pound bench press. That’s cool, BM. Can I call you BM or is that too much like poop? I mean, you are the shit, Beast Mode… even if you aren’t real. Any way, I’m proud of my 100 pound bench press because I decided to hit the reset button on an exercise that hasn’t been a part of my regular training program since high school. Back then, I kept track of how much I could press. I walked around with that number on the tip of my tongue, ready to tell anyone that would listen. Eventually I stopped caring about my bragging rights and I was getting into you to lift all of the heavy weights and manage my anger. Many of my clients talk about what they “used to” be able to do. I remind them of the importance of starting that specific skill over from scratch and that’s what I’ve been doing with my bench press (and squats and a number of other exercises).

Beast Mode, the funny thing is that I don’t have to get into you to lift weights any more. My temper is under control. I’m lifting weights that are light for my level of ability so that I can focus on proper form and I’m increasing weight based on my form by the end of the fifth set as opposed to increasing weight based on my ego. I’ve embraced humility as a reminder that just because I used to be able to bench press (who cares how many) pounds doesn’t mean that I need to reintroduce that movement with the same weight.

Beast mode, I think that you’re bad for people. Even though you don’t exist, people keep you alive in their thoughts, t-shirts, blogs, and GymBroSpeak. If everyone stopped believing in you the possibilities would be endless. I can imagine a Beast Mode free world. Fewer injuries because people would stop lifting with their ego. Bros without Beast Mode would stop dropping dumbbells that were too heavy for them to pick up in the first place. Without Beast Mode, people would be able to steel their minds and listen to Mahler or even Tibetan chants while lifting. There would be no need to thrash about to metal just to get hype and lift that weight one time. Without you, Beast Mode, people could find their own identity instead of getting into you. Goodbye, Beast Mode. Leave minds alone.

Peace,

Jet

After reading that letter, ask yourself what you need to lift, run, row, etc. Do you need to get into Beast Mode? Do you need to have a specific genre of music or even a specific artist? Do you need your Fitbit, heart rate monitor, run keeper app, WOD generator app, etc.? Figure out what you need and ask yourself if you really need it. (Hint: You need an able body and proper clothing/shoes. The rest are all wants/habits.) Do you want to get the strength you once had? Don’t be afraid to start over. Figuratively and literally rebuild your strength. Here’s your challenge for the week. Listen to some music that you’d never consider for a workout playlist and play it on your run or during your next weightlifting session. Try Mayer Hawthorne for Squats. Try Vivaldi for a long run. Try Little Dragon for Dead Lifts. Try some Fela Kuti or Antibalas for Barbell Rows. Try Tool for Pilates. The goal of the game is to focus your mind no matter what the soundtrack. I used to work with this cat that said, “repetition is the mother of all skill”. I’ll take it one step further. A skill is something that you can accomplish repeatedly regardless of your surroundings. Skilled dancers can dance any place, any time. Skilled sharp shooters can hit their target despite audible distractions. The next time that you think about inviting Beast Mode to your workout, try being yourself and working out with focus and attention to detail. Don’t give the keys to your body over to false frame of mind. Your brain (and your personality) are capaple of helping you to get stronger. You are not a beast. You are not a slobbering animal that is all instinct and no reasoning. You are a human. Become a stronger human by remembering that your brain and body deserve equal respect.

The Balance of Vulnerability

Why is she angry? I always wondered why she was so angry. Why is he becoming aggressive? I always wondered why he would get so aggressive. When I managed restaurants (and when I managed retail stores-which at times felt eerily similar) I always wondered why people would become irate over what seemed (to me) like a small issue. Why were they sweating the small stuff!? The complaints ranged from too few napkins to salad plates not being cold enough and everything in between. The majority of the complaints didn’t seek resolution. I mean to say that when I offered a solution it was refuted. I used to rack my brain trying to understand why someone would go through the trouble of asking to speak to the manager, bending my ear for as much as 15 minutes, and when I offered everything short of my first born to make amends, they said they were “fine” and tried to convince me that it was no big deal-despite their lament.

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One day, it struck me. Those people just wanted to be heard. There’s a strong chance that they were voiceless in other areas of their lives. Perhaps a bean counter felt like a cog in the machine at work. They found themselves in a temporary position of power because of the customer always being right (fun fact: restaurant diners are more often selfish assholes than “right”) and they seek balance. Despite our efforts to suppress it, we all have an ego. When the ego feels vulnerable it seeks a course correction to balance its mettle. Misdirected hostility can often be traced back to a bruised ego that felt vulnerable. The ego often chooses to dominate in order to feed itself and stay in the driver’s seat. So, I began to have some compassion for the complainers. I told myself that I had no idea what that person had dealt with during their day. If work, romance, family, or otherwise had made them feel vulnerable it was within reason that their ego would seek balance through dominating when given the chance. I want to be clear, I’m not condoning being rude to service staff because you *insert mocking whiny voice* “had a bad day”. It’s not okay to be uncool to people due to your own baggage. There is NO excuse to be an asshole.

B4 … turns into this…B5

Ego-driven balance can be destructive if left unsupervised. The best way to go about that supervision is to understand what’s happening and why you’re seeking the balance. What made you feel vulnerable and why? When you choose to redirect your domination, are you doing it in a healthy way? I recently spoke with a friend about a case study that we’d read. Someone that works as a professional Dominant has a girlfriend that he cares for deeply. Because of how emotionally vulnerable he feels in that relationship, his ego seeks balance in the form of punishing his Subs. While that may be good for his business, it’s important that he not mix business efforts and personal feelings. Like any consensual sexual exchange, the two (or more) parties involved should walk away feeling as if their boundaries were respected and that mutual pleasure was paramount. No one should feel as if anything was “taken out” on them.

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Take a look at the world around you and the interactions that people have with one another. Pay close attention to the passive aggressive habits of some and the inability to apologize of others. Before getting annoyed about those habits, think from a place of compassion and try to understand why. When the emotionally vulnerable seek sexual domination with other partners, are they seeking balance? When the powerless feel the need to condescend to people in a service role, are they looking for a way to feel in control? When the voiceless choose to be petty or passive aggressive, are they looking for a way to be heard? In a recent seminar, the speaker pointed out that the weak pretend to be powerful. Think of the bully on the playground. What’s going on in that kid’s life that drives his ego to dominate others (without their consent)? Look for the habits in your life that find your ego in the driver’s seat as it seeks the balance. Are you dominating with consent or are you the bully? Suppressing the ego means that feelings of power and weakness are irrelevant. It’s easier said than done, but step outside of yourself and try to see if you’re dominating conversations/lovers/kids on the swing in an effort to find the balance of vulnerability.

Honoring Your Gift + BodyFaming.com

There are many different ways to say thank you. Arguably, the most memorable way to say thank you is to show thank you by honoring the gift you’ve received. Did your mom ever make you wear an ugly sweater that was knitted by your aunt just because that aunt was coming to the house? That was probably your first lesson in honoring your gift and showing thank you.
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There are many gifts that we take for granted because we no longer think of certain gifts as something for which we should be grateful. Abundance, life (in general), friendships, mind, spirit, and body are just a few examples.
Abundance
Give it away. Don’t give it to your friends that make slightly less money than you do. Give it to those that really need it. Fund a micro loan.
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Give with no ulterior motive. Buy a plane ticket for someone that’s never left the state. Buy a plane ticket for yourself. Buy someone something to eat. Donate anonymously without the tax break benefits. Set up a trust fund for a kid in an orphanage. Become someone’s Sugar Momma (my email address is below).
Life
Express gratitude for your life often. “Jet, I’m broke, I stubbed my toe, my dog died, and I got pink eye. My life sucks!” Be sure not to confuse your life’s situation with your actual breath-in-your-lungs life. If you’re breathing and able to read this, you’ve got life. What if we stopped saying so much FML and changed our lament to a rejoicing LML (love my life)? What would that feel like? I think that it’s important to show thank you for this life by living it. There’s a difference between living and existing. I’m not going to define what living means. That’s for you to decide. But, you know that living life to the fullest does NOT mean fucking around on the face books. So, after you finish reading this blog post, go do something!
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Friendships
Be kind to your friends and tell them they are appreciated. Be thoughtful and follow the platinum rule. The golden rule states, treat others like you want to be treated. That’s not always ideal. Your friends don’t think like you regarding all things. The platinum rule states, treat others the way they want to be treated. That’s a great way to honor a friendship. (Note: Friendship is synonymous with relationship. If you’re not friends with your lovers, then why are you making sweet love with them?)
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Mind
A mind is a terrible thing to waste. Feed your intellect. Read books and shit, yo! Don’t confuse information with knowledge. Apply what you’ve learned.
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Love your own company. Love your own conversation. (I’m not suggesting that you talk to yourself. I am suggesting that you honor your mind by developing good communication skills. Less texting and more talking. Use the phone app on your smartphone more often.)
Spirit
Wasted talent is simply criminal. It breaks my heart when people claim that they have no talent. What re you doing to sharpen your skills? Can you walk? Have you tried to find a coach to help turn that walking into dancing, cycling, running, parkour, etc.? Can you remember things better than others? That’s a talent worth honoring. Have you been complimented on your fashion sense? Have you considered coaching others on how to dress? Instead of assuming that you have no talent, assume that you haven’t found or tapped into it yet. Dig for it and honor it when you find it. If you know that you’re talented, use it or lose it. Honor the gift of your spirit by doing what you love even if you have to find what you love first.
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Body
If you seek a partner, there’s no guarantee they’ll come along. If they do, they’ll be attracted to you based on how attractive you find yourself. There’ve been a number of women that I’ve dated that refuted my compliments. Whenever I pointed out what I found beautiful about them, they countered with what they disliked about their appearance. It’s always been a huge turn off. If someone is of the opinion that you are beautiful, don’t fight them. You don’t have to agree either. But, telling them why they’re wrong will limit future compliments and (possibly-as it did for me) end any interactions. Say it with me, “you are only as sexy to others as you are to yourself.” If you don’t find you sexy, how can you expect anyone else to do so? Tell me what you like about your body? I challenge you to use that question in party conversations. If given the chance, people can and will tell you about all of the things they dislike about their bodies. The irony is that they’ll blame the media for body shaming when it seems to be an inside job. We can not be shamed by others. To claim that someone has body shamed you is to give away your power and put someone else in control of your emotions. No one can shame you without your permission. Stand in the mirror and state (out loud) ten things that you love about your body. While this may seem like an exercise in vanity, it’s actually an exercise in self-esteem. You may be familiar with my website BodyFaming.com Well, after listening to a lot of people vent their frustrations about societal body shaming, I challenged them to help me begin a revolution. A body faming revolution. The website and idea was inspired by Post Secret. BodyFaming.com is a community art project dedicated to reclaiming our bodies. It’s up to us to fame ourselves, love ourselves, and to be proud of ourselves. BodyFaming.com is a safe space for that self love. Join us in a celebration of the human body as it is. No airbrushing, no photoshop, no editing of your body to fit into a certain type of pre-approved aesthetic. Here’s how it works. Submit your well-lit, anonymous (no faces allowed), and unedited pictures of your body. With each submission, write what you love about that body part. Express gratitude, pride, and beauty for your body. Submit everything! Show us your bellies, your backs, your surgery scars, your everything. For the sake of remaining anonymous, you can black out tattoos and we will never post your information.
There’s a lot to be grateful for. After you make today’s gratitude list ask yourself how you can honor those gifts? Practice self- love and I encourage you to submit an anonymous selfie to bodyfaming.com with words of your own self-love.

Finding Your Voice

My brother, Isma’il, used to sing along to songs. Instead of conforming his vocal tone to resemble the pitch of the artist, he would sing along in his own voice. If Roberta Flack was on the box, he sang along in a deep baritone. Prince? Deep baritone. Sade, Sting, Fleetwood Mac, et al. were all accompanied by his deep baritone. As you can imagine, it was annoying. I often found myself silently asking, “why?” Why wouldn’t he just sing along and mimic their voice? That was over a decade ago. It wasn’t until very recently that I began to understand the importance of finding your own voice.

In burlesque, we refer to it as that time when you no longer feel like you’re new on the scene and you’re confident in the stories that you tell with your performances. You don’t usually know of a set day and time that it happens. But, when talking about our past performances I’ve heard some dancers say things like, “that was back before I’d found my voice.” So, WTF does it mean to find one’s voice? Does it mean that you annoy your family by singing along in a different key? Does it mean that you are comfortable on a stage?

Dancing in Zimbabwe (according to Google).

Dancing in Zimbabwe (according to Google).

“If you can talk you can sing. If you can walk you can dance.” It’s an old proverb from Zimbabwe. My interpretation is that all voices are beautiful and movement of the human body is an art. (In my opinion that’s not exclusive to those that can walk. The ballet, “Body Remix/Les Variations Goldberg” from Comagnie Marie Chouinard out of Montreal is worth your time if you have an open mind about different forms of human movement.)

Body Remix/Les Variations Goldberg

Body Remix/Les Variations Goldberg

I’ve heard many people exclaim, “oh, I can’t sing!” I ask them all the same follow-up question. “How do you sound in the shower?” People usually give a favorable response. How is it possible to sing/sound better when we’re alone in the bathroom? Well, aside from the acoustics, it’s because that’s where we tend to find our voice. No, not in the bathroom, Silly Goose! Alone. We find our voice when we’re alone. Unfortunately, most of us never acknowledge it because we’re too afraid to share that voice with others. Glossophobia (fear of public speaking) is a very common fear. I believe that we fear what we don’t understand. Therefore, if we deconstruct our fears and distill them into a reason why, we should be able to conquer them. If you are a glossophobe, figure out why. (“Just ’cause” ain’t a reason.) One of my tattoos reminds me to face my fears and conquer them.

My creed flows through my veins and follows those lines in a tattoo.

My creed flows through my veins and follows those lines in a tattoo.

Are you afraid of sharing your voice? Are you afraid of telling your story? Why? Break it down, dismantle it, understand it, overcome it, overstand it, and share. Your voice may come in the form of dance, singing, poetry (not to be confused with spoken word), painting, etc. But, we all have a story to tell. You’d be surprised who wants/needs to hear your voice. (Disclaimer: If your voice is spreading messages of hate, anarchy, destruction, or general assholism, you can fuck off and die.) Isma’il was the person that pushed me on to the stage to share my poetry at open mic nights back in the mid 90s. I was convinced that no one wanted to hear my lament. Everything was so goddamned dramatic in my poems. But, I was shocked when people applauded with excitement! My voice reached them.

Thoughts on how my voice has changed to deliver the same message.

Thoughts on how my voice has changed to deliver the same message.

Over the years, I’ve found my voice as a rapper, poet, dancer, blogger, lover, and my voice is getting more dialed in as a coach every day. Finding your voice is not about perfecting a craft. Finding your voice is not about perfection at all. If you consider yourself perfect, I consider you lazy. You’ve decided to stop trying and you’re resting on your laurels. What do you want to say? How do you want to say it? What are you doing to find your voice and become a scene and part of the heard? Remember that every time you talk you sing and that every time you move your body you are dancing. You have a voice, it’s a beautiful voice. Share it with the world in whatever way you see fit. (Please refer back to the aforementioned disclaimer.) The world doesn’t need another lemming. Don’t try to be the next *fill in the blank with any celebrity*. Be the first and only you. The crowd has plenty of followers. Stand out and share the voice that you found when you were alone and free to be yourself. Remember to cliche like no one’s watching. What I mean to say is that we’ve all heard the overused dumb ass reminder to “dance as if no one’s watching.” That phrase is problematic because it teaches us to close our eyes and hope to remain hidden. Fuck that shit. Dance is if everyone is watching and look them in the eye as you do it. Don’t hide from anyone. Bow down to no one. Walk, dance, talk, and sing… in your own voice.